P3.99 Friday, Jan. 6 Asymmetrical Dentition Observed in the Flounder Paralicthys albigutta RODRIGUEZ, D.; FRANCIS, JR., A.W.*; Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA email@example.com
Type, size, and number of teeth in fishes correlates with their feeding habits and diets. Little is known, however, about the teeth of the bilaterally asymmetrical flatfishes (Order Pleuronectiformes). To better understand the dentition of flatfishes, we investigated whether there was a significant difference in the number and distribution of teeth between the ocular and blind sides of the gulf flounder, Paralicthys albigutta. Ninety-seven gulf flounder were caught off the coast of Florida with either a seine net or hook and line. They were preserved on site in a 10% formalin solution and later transferred to a 70% ethanol solution. By removing and examining the premaxilla, maxilla, and dentary, we were able to determine the number and position of teeth for four sections of the jaws: upper blind side, upper ocular side, lower blind side, and lower ocular side. The premaxilla of both sides was determined to possess a greater number of teeth, ranging from 15-32. The maxilla of both sides possessed fewer teeth, ranging from 10-20. Between the ocular and blind sides, the ocular side consistently displayed more teeth. As a result, there was a significance difference in the dentition between ocular and blind sides of the gulf flounder. This asymmetrical difference in dentition may be correlated with their benthic and epibenthic feeding habits.